The Clapper

Ed Helms is still getting lead work, despite mixed reviews for his acting in most movies. He is leading big films, and he is leading films you never heard about before.

Films like The Clapper. Have you heard about it? Of course not. It came out some time in 2017, probably straight to DVD, and I found it accidentally on Netflix.

So sure, I like enough of the cast, and I like the concept, it is a good enough movie to review as any.

Date
And it features…clapping I assume.

Getting into acting can be pretty damn hard. But moving to LA is a good first step. And then you might be a waiter or have small time jobs until you get a commercial. Maybe you will be a non speaking role in the background?

Or maybe you will be like Eddie Krumble (Ed Helms), and get a job as an audience member for infomercials. He has gotten to be pretty good. He can laugh on command. He can seem intrigued. He even has had speaking roles. His overall goal is to be very nondescript, so that he doesn’t get noticed across infomercials and their real studio audience feel is seen as a scam.

And of course that is just what happens. A late night talk show host (Russell Peters) is doing a bit on a bad infomercial, and they notice poor Eddie across multiple shows, and turn it into a big deal. He is on there all the time in their clips now, and they begin a campaign to find the mysterious “Clapper.” Eddie wants nothing to do with this, he wants to go into hiding so his livelihood isn’t ruined. If he becomes famous, he can’t be in the audiences, and he will gain 15 minutes of fame and then be forgotten and poor.

He also is in love with Judy (Amanda Seyfried) a gas station attendant, who also won’t be able to handle the cameras and national fame as it disrupts her line of work.

Also starring Adam Levine, James Ransone, Leah Remini, P.J. Byrne, and Tracy Morgan.

React
The mustache helps him blend in of course.

Honestly, this was a very weird Helms to see. A more subtle, shy, strange Helms. He is normally pretty out there, or extremely weird. He is only slightly weird in this movie, and just plays a simple person extremely well. Like, really well. Like I forgot it was Helms, and instead, just assumed it was a regular person. Somehow with make up and acting he just made himself seem incredibly non-famous, and that is the most notable thing about the movie.

Everything else is pretty, well, standard. Or even below average.

This feels like a film with a $10 budget, even the cool late night talk show host felt like an incredibly fake version of a late night talk show. It felt like it could have been made by teenagers.

The plot didn’t really grow in an exciting way, and it ended also at a relatively lame point.

It is incredibly forgettable. And remember, the higher point is just because Helms knocked mediocrity out of the park.

2 out of 4.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Dreamworks films never reach their full potential. Or they do, and Dreamworks films just suck, outside of the two Dreamworks franchises that I don’t even have to mention at this point.

They do not aim for universal appeal, they just want to get their cheap kid jokes and run.

I expected to outright hate Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. I have never read or looked into a book with any level of effort, but I see the sort of humor that exists. You know, poop and underwear humor. Like the whole series, all based on one sort of joke. It is a bold move, but it was a hit with kids, and honestly I am surprised it took this long for a movie.

But as I left the film, it had some level of charm, despite all the shit.

Hero
His whole body is just so round.

Before we get to the superhero, we need to talk about George (Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch). They have been best friends since Kindergarten, thanks to their similar humor styles. They pull pranks on school to get them by, and they love making comics together. George tells the story, Harold is the illustrator. Their favorite comic that they have made is Captain Underpants!

But at school, not everything is okay. The mean Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) is the principal, and he outlaws fun for the sake of discipline, so George and Harold are a thorn in his side. But he never has proof! When he does get proof, he will be able to separate the two boys into different classes, thus killing their friendship, or something like that.

And thanks to a few other pranks their nightmare is about to come true! As a last ditch effort, they attempt to hypnotize him, and it works! There they decide to make him pretend to be Captain Underpants and wham! A superhero is born!

But can their school be run by a make believe super hero? Can they control him and protect their friendship? What about the evil Professor P (Nick Kroll) who has a weird plan to hurt children too, with the unknowing help of Melvin (Jordan Peele), a humorless nerd. Also featuring Kristen Schaal as the voice of the cafeteria worker.

Kids
Although pretty round, they have a few more edges so this isn’t just some freaky round planet. Whew.

Guess what?! Captain Underpants wasn’t extremely poopy, just somewhere poopy. For the most part, I didn’t find it really that funny. It relied on the same sort of joke over and over again. Of which the film did talk about how “toilet humor” is the lowest form, so they understood what they were doing. The exaggeration of their friendship being killed by being in different classes was a bit annoying, since they straight up hang out with each other as direct neighbors after school all the time as well.

But it was telling the story in their kid point of view, so it made sense on a level. On a different level, they are supposed to be very smart and savvy compared to the rest of the students, so when their characterizations are sometimes very childish versus mature, it is a bit confusing on what they are supposed to represent.

There are however aspects that I really enjoyed. This is a film where all the main characters are voiced by famous people. It is a stupid trend, it still doesn’t lead to more ticket sales like Robin Williams did in the early 1990s. They are paying more money for lesser voices. BUT, the characters in this film didn’t just sound like the normal actors for once. The closest two were Hart and Scahal, but everyone else I would not have been able to tell you the voice at all, so that is wonderful.

The second aspect I enjoyed was their decisions to tell the story in different ways. It is a CGI film, but we weren’t just given a completely CGI movie. It starts off with a paper comic book feel, we are given a flip book scene, various forms of day dream, but best of all, a sock puppet scene. Sock puppets! The changing formats of the film helped keep my interest and make the film a bit more sophisticated?

No, not sophisticated. Let’s just keep it as interesting.

It still caters to a lower form of humor. It still doesn’t have a lot of substance. But hey, it did try a few things I enjoyed and wasn’t a complete shit show.

2 out of 4.

Vacation

Oh hey, Vacation. A comedy series a lot of people look back with fond memories. Because it told the truth. Family vacations are terrible, but we all grin and bear it because that is just what you gotta do.

It is a concept most people can related to, and with nostalgia being the strong bitch that it is, it makes sense for there to eventually be more Vacation movies. Movies that capture the true American spirit: cramped in a car with people you already hang out with too much. At the same time, people assume that if you make a new version of something old, the old one gets tarnished or something.

Those people are dumb.

Which is why I do declare I will not make comparisons to the first Vacation movie. I will judge this on its own merits as a new comedy, that may have references to a previous movie.

Car Ride
And my noble steed on this ride will be a small car.

Vacation is not a reboot or a remake, it is a sequel.

Rusty Griswald (Ed Helms) is now grown up and has a family of his own! He is a pretty good pilot, but works for a shitty airline that only does short domestic flights, so he can spend time with his family. His wife, Debbie (Christina Applegate) is a stay at home mom, raising the two boys. The older one, James (Skyler Gisondo) is almost done with high school, very sensitive, plays the guitar. He constantly gets picked on by his much smaller younger brother, Kevin (Steele Stebbins), who is a dick and is into wrestling.

Well, they normally go out every year to a cabin in the woods, but Rusty realizes that everyone finds it boring. So he decides to change it up. A cross country road trip from Chicago to California to go to Walley World! Yeah! Rusty had fond memories of the park as a kid, despite that one film where a bunch of bad things happened. This time it is going to go right and they are going to ride the best roller coaster in the country. Damn it.

Of course shit goes bad. Their car is weird and European, white water rafting, bad hot springs, crazy truckers, thieves, and more. They also make a pit stop to visit Rusty’s sister, Audrey (Leslie Mann), who finds the idea of a trip ridiculous. She is also super wealthy for marrying Stone Crandall (Chris Hemsworth), who is a super attractive weather man. The only other real plot line is James constantly running into Adena (Catherine Missal), a girl on another road trip.

Vacation also offers a lot of cameos. Of course we have Chevy Chase, but we also have Ron Livingston, Michael Pena, Kaitlin Olson, Nick Kroll, Tim Heidecker, Colin Hanks (Apparently), Norman Reedus, Keegan-Michael Key, and Charlie Day.

Sorority
Most of my vacations ended up at a college strip fest as well.

Vacation ends up being different than its predecessor in many ways. For one, it is a modern comedy. So there is an industry regulated volume of a dick jokes that it needs to have in its film to make it to the big screen. This sort of thing isn’t always noticeable, because if they have a lot of varied other jokes, you usually don’t even notice all the dick jokes that are secretly hiding in the back ground. Unfortunately, if a movie is 95% dick jokes, they stand out like a sore…thumb. (You thought I’d say penis, heh heh heh).

So yes, it feels like Vacation is a one trick pony, where that trick is jumping over a bar that is floating about an inch over the ground. It would have been nice if they decided to raise that bar instead and make longer smarter jokes, but those are hard and require patience I guess.

Ed Helms just wasn’t interesting. A typical character in his wheelbarrow and it didn’t seem to offer anything new. There was some good interactions between the kids, and Applegate did a fine job.

Honestly, the reason I am giving this a passing rating is for two scenes. One, Four Corners monument scene was surprising and strangely funny. But more importantly, Charlie Fucking Day. This movie is borderline watchable for his scenes alone. Hysterical. High energy. Wet. Fantastic. Technically soon you can probably find the whole scene on Youtube, but I feel like the film should get some credit for featuring something so marvelous in its data innards.

Yep. Without Charlie Day this movie would have just been downright terrible. You don’t hear that phrased that often.

2 out of 4.

They Came Together

Heh. Heheheheh. They Came Together. That title. Oh man. Oh boy.

I’m done. I can’t even think of a good intro because of that.

However, I would feel like an asshat if I didn’t first mention that this movie had already been reviewed on my website. Yah! Here is a link! Because I totally have guest reviews on my website, not a lot, but they are there. And from them, of the seven, one I had reviewed already, one I reviewed soon after, and this one I reviewed way way later.

I think I am just stalling.

Leaves
Like how I am avoiding cleaning up my leaves in my yard.

This movie is your classic romcom. And that is how they sell it. It is literally a spoof movie on romcoms, and they basically say that in the opening scene.

It is your classic boy meets girl. Joel (Paul Rudd) is a big corporate man working for a candy shop. Molly (Amy Poehler) is a klutz and owner of an independent candy shop. Oh my goodness, conflict!

Joel has a long term girlfriend (Cobie Smulders) who doesn’t love him like he does. Molly has an ex-husband and a kid.

Joel has a best friend (Jason Mantzoukas) who introduces him to a girl from work. Molly also has a best friend (Melanie Lynskey) who also wants to do that same thing!

Joel has a group of best friends who help him decide relationship advice. Molly has a black coworker friend (Teyonah Parris) who helps her keep it real.

Joel also has to deal with his younger brother (Max Greenfield) who is busy following his dreams and not making a living. Molly has other options, like a banker (Ed Helms) who wants to get closer to her.

I think you get the gist. It has a lot more people in it too! Like Christopher Meloni, Bill Hader, Ellie Kemper, Michael Ian Black, Kenan Thompson, Jack McBrayer, and Ken Marino.

Bear Suits
I don’t have a joke here. I just like the picture a lot. ūüôĀ

I felt ridiculous writing this, because in all honesty, it was a ridiculous movie. I actually put off watching it for so long, because I thought I wouldn’t like it, or it would be as average as a romantic realistic indie movie. And hey, it was weird and unique! So that was good.

It is hard to find a nice spoof movie nowadays. And I think They Came Together gave one of the better attempts at it. I did laugh at quite a few of the absurdities, and found it pretty funny. But, by the end, I thought aspects of it were going too strong and the joke was losing its luster. A bit. You know? Maybe too much of a good thing. Hell, I even had a good time explaining some of the jokes to others, but I didn’t think this is a movie I could really watch again and enjoy it as much of the first time. I think it will quickly stale out.

This is all conjecture. I might love it forever. But if anything, these reviews are first impressions and my impressions can often change through time. I usually don’t like changing a review later, because who would notice and ehhh, apathy. This time I am pretty sure that I would only enjoy this movie once though. And that is why it is just an okay film in that regard. Without staying power, I don’t want to buy it. If I don’t want to buy it, then is it really that great?

2 out of 4.

Stretch

I am not going to get into the same old tirade of how I randomly picked this movie on a whim on Netflix. Mostly because I just gave you all that information in one sentence. Boom. Roasted.

No. Instead I want to talk about how surprising it is that I never heard about this movie Stretch, given its mostly big list of famous actors. This shouldn’t be some straight to DVD shitflick you find in the nonexistent $3 Wal-Mart DVD bins.

Well, Stretch was supposed to come out in March of this year, full on theatrical release, trailers, everything. But Universal Pictures decided to fuck that release date and kind of not want to do it anymore. So the director was able to look for other people to release it and nothing happened. So it wen’t back to Universal who decided to release it in “creative ways”. So early October it hit iTunes and Amazon, mid October it hit VOD services, and then onto Netflix, where of course, I first stumbled upon it, in order to give you this review.

GUN
I am not putting a gun to your head to see it, I just wanted to review it, jeez.

Let’s talk about Stretch (Patrick Wilson). He is a limo driver and yes that is his official name. Stretch wants to be an actor, why else would he live in LA? But life is going bad, and he blames it all on Candace (Brooklyn Decker) for breaking his heart after a year of dating. They met on a car crash, sure, he was still a limo driver then. Apparently she wanted more. He just wanted to gamble and do cocaine. But he is better now. He is going to turn his life around. Or else!

Because he also still owes gambling debts, and the piper is calling. He needs $6,000 by tonight, but life doesn’t just ever really hand him opportunities. He can’t even get acting gigs, after all.

Maybe if he just does his job really really really well, like Karl (Ed Helms) did. The best limo driver ever. Maybe he can get some high powered actors who will tip like crazy?

Well, luck is about to be on his side. An eccentric rich person! He just has to comply with all his demands, while his entire life is crumbling around him. Joy.

But who plays the eccentric rich person? Who?! Well, maybe it is one of these people: James Badge Dale, David Hasselhoff, Randy Couture, Chris Pine, Jason Mantzoukas, Norman Reedus, or Ray Liotta. Or maybe it is a woman, like Jessica Alba. Women can be eccentric to you know!

(Yes, all of those people are in this movie).

Cocks
We will never be able to see a COCK like this on the big screen.

Holy poop in a limo (not a spoiler). Stretch was far more entertaining and interesting than I gave it credit for. I mean, straight to Netflix movie? Who gives a crap! Stretch is full of intense scenes, funny moments, darkly funny moments, and kind of action heavy. A lot went into this movie and I found it really hard to look away.

And the best part is, because it is so widely available right off the bat, I can recommend it to people. Stretch might finally be my next Flypaper. Flypaper was a completely unknown movie, with some people I recognized in it, that I figured would suck. And hey, I liked it a lot. It is my favorite reason for watching probably bad movies. It is all about finding those that rise above their cover and actually present something worthwhile to watch, hopefully multiple times.

Maybe it is a bit disconcerting that I can now only think of two titles that really fit the build, but eh, fuck you for thinking about numbers that I brought up.

Stretch was highly entertaining and way more unique despite what may seem from its premise. Patrick Wilson carried the movie through his narration and humorous acting. Sure, parts of the ending you can see come from miles away, and that leads to some weaker moments. But I think this limo ride is totally worth it.

3 out of 4.

We’re The Millers

Watching the¬†trailer¬†for We’re The Millers, it is clear that it could be hit or miss. There are moments in there that make me laugh every time I see it, and those that make me think it will be the worse film ever.

I like¬†Jason Sudeikis¬†as a comedy actor. The problem is, he hasn’t proven himself yet as a leading man in a comedy movie. He is fine as a side kick, or part of a trio, but his only real venture as leading man was in A Good Old Fashioned Orgy, which ended up being less than stellar.

If anything, this film might just cement Eustace from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as a young comedic genius. Stranger things have happened.

Fakers
“We’re not even a real family. She is just a washed up actress from a 90s Sitcom!” Whoa, Jason. That’s cold.

David (Sudeikis) is a guy in his mid thirties, still dealing pot. It’s a good life for him. But when he gets robbed of his stash, cash, and back up cash, he finds himself in a pile of trouble. His boss Brad (Ed Helms) doesn’t care and sort of wants to kill him! Unless he heads down to Mexico, grabs a shipment of drugs for him, smuggles it across the border. Sounds easy when the other option is death. Plus, he will earn an extra $100k. Nice!

The problem is, he looks like a drug dealer and in no way can smuggle it across the border on his own. Until he realizes that white middle class families on vacation never get searched! He just has to rent and RV and a group of people to play his family.

He hires the weird kid downstairs, Kevin (Will Poulter), the homeless girl on the street, Casey (Emma Roberts), and the stripper down the hall, Rose (Jennifer Aniston) to play the various roles of the Miller family. Nothing could go wrong!

Sure they get to Mexico, and find out that they are actually stealing the marijuana from a Mexican drug lord (Tomer Sisley). Sure, the amount of drugs is several thousands of pounds worth. But they can probably still pull it off.

Hitmen, spiders, engine failure, dogs, DEA, and another RV family (Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn) are just some of the other problems they will face on the road.

Swingers
I’d let Nick Offerman sexually wet willy my ear any day. Even Tuesday.

After viewing We’re The Millers, I think that Jason Sudeikis was able to run this movie like the comedy veteran I always knew he could be. It works. It really does.

Yes, this movie has a lot of foul mouthed humor. Cursing, sex jokes, genitalia jokes, incest jokes, it has them all. The unfunny scenes I alluded to in the trailer mostly turned out pretty decent, which is a big relief.

Almost every time Will Poulter was on camera, I found myself laughing. He used to be an annoying asshole kid in a bad Narnia movie. But now he plays the awkward teenager so well, that everything the put him through just tickled my gills.

It wasn’t a perfect movie. Sitting there, a lot of character actions and decisions seemed illogical. If the script was stronger overall, they could have avoided those type of moments. I don’t think they really knew what to do with Emma Roberts as her role in comparison was really limited. Such a shame.

Now if you excuse me, I am going to go blast my old TLC records up and start planning my own fake family vacations.

3 out of 4.

The Hangover Part III

The Hangover series is a bit of an enigma. Here is why!

The original is about four men on a bachelor party in Las Vegas, where they all black out, one goes missing, and they have to retrace their steps through the wildest night of their lives before the wedding. So what’d the sequel do? The Hangover Part II¬†gave us another wedding, another night of blacked our memories and regrets, but in Thailand. Like most sequels, in contained the same theme and a similar plot. After all, it is called The Hangover and is about being hungover, and it is not called “Some Guys Get Into Shenanigans!” I don’t know if people complained about the similarities between Die Hard¬†and Die Hard 2.

But for whatever reason, audiences hated it and voiced their displeasure. Which is why we now have The Hangover Part III! (Trailer) Learning from their mistakes, we now have a movie about a few guys getting into shenanigans and no hangovers.

Elevator
Classic elevator scenes are classic. Those sheets are suggestive as fuck.

A few years after Part II, Alan (Zach Galifianakis) is still a madman. He is off his medication and causing accidents, overly stressing his father (Jeffrey Tambor) and giving him a fatal heart attack.

Which is why his friends decide to give him an intervention. Doug (Justin Bartha), Stu (Ed Helms), and Phil (Bradley Cooper) convince him to drive down to the rehab center to get his life back on track! But along the way, they are hijacked by Marshall (John Goodman), a drug dealer and international criminal, who claims Chow (Ken Jeong) stole $21 Million in gold bars from him.

Of course the only person to be in contact with Chow since Thailand is Alan. So he kidnaps Doug, and they have three days to find Chow and his money, or Doug dies. Swell!

This film also brings back¬†Mike Epps¬†as “Black Doug”,¬†Heather Graham¬†as Jade, and introduces¬†Melissa McCarthy¬†as a pawn shop owner.

Allen Vs Chow
Yep, the whole gang is represented in this poster. Wait…

I think I am going to put this blame on the writers. In terms of plot, this Hangover actually tells a decent story. There is betrayal, redemption, and a group of guys that can’t fix their larger than life problems. But instead of focusing on the entire group, it is almost a if Stu and Phil get pushed out of the way for the Alan and Chow show.

Alan is an annoying character, which Zach G. tends to to play a lot (With¬†mixed results). He is the type of character that is good for a comedy, but shouldn’t be the main focus. Chow was also a secondary character, but ¬†it feels like he has more lines than even Stu, who in turn is just a punching bag for Alan this movie.

The writers intended this to be a redemption movie for Alan, and thus  gave him the leading role. After all, everyone else has settled down besides his character, so this is just his turn to settle to end the series. But it feels very forced. The film on the whole has less humor than the previous two, focusing more on the intense plot lines. In fact, the scaffolding scene from the trailer made me jump from my feet in fright. Not that the seriousness was a bad thing, but it is framed as a comedy and not an adventure/action film.

I know it is a strange thing to blame the writers yet talk highly of the plot.I wish they were able to have the same overall storyline, without cramming two (Arguably) secondary characters down our throat. It shouldn’t be hard to give Bradley Cooper or Ed Helms bigger roles in the film. They felt like replaceable cast members, which is unacceptable.

That being said, Part III wasn’t horrible, it just wasn’t amazing either.

2 out of 4.

The Lorax

I say a lot I try to make sure that movies based on books are given their own subjective look, without bringing the book into it. After all, they are different mediums. I need to judge the movie just on its movieness.

But The Lorax? That shit is classic. Here is an audio version for the lazy who have never heard of it. I think a movie version is definitely doable, but it will be weirder, and probably pretty short. Depending on what they set it in.

And just hopefully not extremely up in your ass on the environmental issues. That’s all I want. Lots of rhyming, damn it. Also, lots of Lorax!

Loraxes not
Well, these things arent the Lorax. Poor start so far.

The movie begins with Ted (Zac Efron) a very non Lorax human having big dreams in Thneedville, a completely “artificial city”. Everything is metal, plastic, or synthetic in some way. No trees or plants, that is all fake too. But no worries, they love their lifestyle and capitalism. They even love the fact that they by air, from O’Hare (Rob Riggle) for whatever reason.

But Ted is in love. With a girl! A strange girl who dreams of the world outside the walled city that they cannot leave. Audrey (Taylor Swift) wants a real life tree so badly, she even said she’d marry a boy if he gave her one. Simple needs! Despite the wishes of his mom (Jenny Slate) and grandma (Betty White), he escapes the city walls and goes to the barren landscape! And obviously, as I just described it, it kind of sucks. No trees anywhere.

There is a creepy house though, hopefully that is where the Onceler (Ed Helms) lived, a rumor of a man who is said to have tree seeds in his possession. And does he? Who knows, because he wants to talk to Ted first and tell him his tale, about how he met the Lorax (Danny DeVito) when he first came to the fields to start up a business and become a success.

Then you know, we get a really long version of the Lorax story, with lots of singing and dancing, and animation explosions, and lengthening. After the seed is received, where the book normally ends, the movie then continues to explain what he does with the seed and his attempts at taking down the O’Hare foundation in Thneedville.

loraxes
Aw, there is the Lorax. Super caauyuute.

Interestingly enough, the first scene actually got me hooked into the movie. The first song titled after the city was actually catchy and interesting, minus the weird parts about extreme capitalism and being a zombie. But yeah! I was excited. But then it went more and more downhill.

After that I didn’t really like a single song, which is a shame. Especially the last one, Let It Grow, that stuff got weird. But after Ted meets the Onceler (who yes, you get to see in the flashbacks. Just hands would be weird in a movie), the story of him going out into the fields, finding the lorax, and then eventually destroying the ecosystem takes WAY TOO LONG. It is ridiculously long. And pointless. Especially since the destruction part doesn’t take a long time, just the part after 1 tree to get to oh man cut it all down.

The morals associated with the Lorax novel are basically simple. Hey, don’t over do it. That is about it. The movie kind of takes that message, amplifies it to show even further extremes (Thneedville) and smacks you over the face with it again and again. I didn’t like that, it was far stronger than it should have been. The ending, after the return to the city with the seed, was just a long chase scene that felt pretty annoying too. I didn’t hate the O’Hare character, minus the fact that he didn’t make much sense, but the way they chose to portray him (not his portrayal?) was annoying to me. Just his general look. I thought “Oh jeez, thanks storyboard artists. Couldn’t have made him more normal sized? Fuck your proportions”.

There were some good moments, but man, I do think this would have been better at 40 minutes max and less acid trips.

1 out of 4.

Jeff, Who Lives At Home

I had no idea what to expect from a movie entitled Jeff, Who Lives At Home. I don’t think I ever saw a preview for it, maybe a TV ad once or twice, just that was it. But based on the actors, I assumed some sort of Apatow level comedy. Probably about an older guy who refuses to move out of his parents house. Sounds like the easiest theory? Might have some social disorder.

I DON’T KNOW, FUCK, JUST START THE MOVIE. AHHH!

jeff is curious
Jeff is in a store, searching for a mysterious entity.

Jeff (Jason Segel) lives at home. Boom. Movie over.

Usually he spends most of his time in the basement, where he smokes pot and watches movies. His mom (Susan Sarandon) works in a cubicle and it is her birthday today! She left a note, telling Jeff to go outside, go to the store and get wood clue. What bus to take and everything. But someone else calls the house. They want to talk to Kevin. But who is Kevin? This isn’t where Kevin lives. It must be fate. Kevin must be important.

At the same time, his brother Pat (Ed Helms) is living with his wife Linda (Judy Greer) and they are saving up for a real home. But he bought an awesome Porsche anyways. He thinks it is important to spice up their relationship. She doesn’t like it. Oh well, she will come around.

On the way to the store, Jeff sees a guy in a basketball jersey with the name Kevin? Can this be the man he is meant to find?! He gets off the bus to follow this “Kevin”. Also the mother at work is getting anonymous messages from someone else in her work place. Looks like she has a secret admirer. At her age as well!

Jeff, believing in signs in the universe and that fate is leading him somewhere. It takes him throughout town and through his families lives, mostly his brothers. Who is an asshole. Because after drinking some for lunch, they do see his wife with another man (Steve Zissis) and he assumes she is cheating and flips a shit. Also a workplace friend of the mom Carol (Rae Dawn Chong) tries to help her determine the identity of the crush.

Is Jeff blindly following bullshit clues to absolute nothing? Or will it lead him to his DESTINY?

hootahs
You see that? Dude is parked in a handicap space. Told you he was an ass.

I friggan loved this movie. And yet it is super simple. Counting credits, it is only 83 minutes long, but who counts credits? So in 80 minutes, we have a story of a day in these characters lives, where marriage, love, and potentially lives are on the line!

I actually watched this movie twice yesterday, the second time when I was busy doing some other tasks, but still wanted to re watch just to check to see if I missed out on anything. The beginning is actually Jeff talking about the movie Signs, how he loves all the subtle hints (or signs!) throughout the movie by the end, and why he loves the little girl character.

While it is marketed as a comedy, and it has its moments, it is definitely a pretty serious film. But both halves work together nicely in my book.

But honestly, if a movie that I watched twice in the same day isn’t a 4 out of 4 rating for me, then I don’t know what is.

4 out of 4.

Lower Learning

Lower Learning is a brand new take on the corrupt and out of control high school where the students and teachers have to fight back in order to not get closed down.

And that just means it takes place in an elementary school instead.

Mad Mad Libs
Mad Libs is also instant entertainment.

Jason Biggs is a vice principal at an elementary school, where life sucks every day. He feels like he does nothing with his job, mostly because the principal Rob Corddry doesn’t let him. He just goes to work, has a boring day, and goes home to his boring life. But out of the blue, he sees Eva Longoria, whom he went to school with. He was nerdy back then but always had a crush on her. But she has bad news, at the end of the day the school will be closing down.

Oh noes! Well it makes sense, when you have teachers who are depressed and drinking, Monica Potter, having weird boxing style tournaments, Will Sasso, incredibly good at teaching but inappropriately talking about sex, Nat Fixon, while also going after the nurse, Jill Latiano, it all just makes sense. Others are on drugs, some refuse to teach. No fucks are given at this school, except by Biggs.

It is more weird when he finds out that no one seems to care. Tenure and shit. But something else is off, why is the principal trying so hard to get the school shut down? Secret embezzlement of millions of dollars you say? That’s strange indeed! Also Ed Helms has a small role as a board member who is way too needy.

GIRL
I mean, he was losing to a GIRL.

As the plot unfolded I thought it was kind of interesting. Some of the jokes given by the teachers were pretty good as well.

But it did not unravel the way I had expected. It got a bit lamer, and lamer, until the ending was a big…ehh whatever. Worst unfurling ever.

That is pretty much the only way I can described it. Kind of interesting, yet getting more and more disappointing. High potential, low follow through. It just felt like train wreck. Assuming I knew what those felt like.

I am proud that I used unfolded unravel, and unfurled though.

1 out of 4.

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